‘’You can’t save the world alone’’. The world these past few months has become a scary place, that’s why we want- nay, need heroes. They are the better angels of our nature, as Lincoln said. But enough poetry, because Warner Bros and DC may just have saved their own cinematic universe.
Wonder Woman proved to be a success, and following that success Zack Snyder hoped to introduce lightning to the bottle by teaming up all of DC’s big name heroes. Go big or go home. (Although they definitely one-up the Avengers when they bring this team together, the Avengers spent the first hour standing around bickering and getting into pissing matches with each other, the League, as Gary Clark Jr. and Junkie XL sang, come together.)
SPOILERS-IF YOU LIKE THAT SORT OF THING
After Superman’s death in Dawn of Justice the world has slowly going to hell. Remember how people joke about the DC movies being all dark and gloomy looking? Well, Superman was a symbol of hope, without him, things are looking grim. Batman (Ben Affleck) discovers a demonic creature in Gotham, a scout for an oncoming invasion. The only clue is a pictogram of three boxes. Consulting with Diana/ Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Bruce learns that eons ago Earth was invaded by the end of worlds, Steppenwolf. It took the combined might of Amazons, Atlanteans and the tribes of men to defeat Steppenwolf, drive him away and claim the Mother Boxes- devices that can destroy and re-create worlds.
Diana’s home Themyscira is attacked first, Steppenwolf returns with his Parademon troopers. In short order Steppenwolf seizes the Mother Box from Atlantis, incurring the wrath of Aquaman (Jason Momoa). Bruce recruits Barry Allan/the Flash (Ezra Miller) while Diana tries to convince Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to join against Steppenwolf.
After Victor’s father is kidnapped by Steppenwolf to coerce the location of the last Mother box out of him, he links up with the others and go after Steppenwolf. However, even with Barry’s speed, Vic’s augments, Bruce’s skill and Diana’s Old God power, they are outmatched by Steppenwolf and his Parademons. They nearly drowned, if Aquaman hadn’t saved them. (I’m useless they said I have stupid powers they said).
Vic retrieves the last Mother Box and Bruce hits upon the idea to use it, because defeating Steppenwolf… sounds like a job for Superman.
With the Mother Box and the Kryptonian birthing matrix from Dawn of Justice to resurrect Clark (Henry Cavill), but he’s out-of-sorts and takes some time with Lois (Amy Adams) to get his house in order. The newly formed League goes to confront Steppenwolf before he destroys the Earth and transforms it into an apocalyptic hellscape (remember Batman’s nightmare in DoJ? This is what that as foreshadowing).
With so many call-backs to the previous installments the DCEU you would almost think that they deliberately planned everything exactly as it played out. Recall Jor-El’s words in Man of Steel: ‘’they will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall, but in time they will join you in the sun’’. If Dawn of Justice was the stumble, then here is where the heroes join each other in the sun. The cast portray the heroes as being larger than life yet human, and there is plenty of great character moments sprinkled all around, despite having six big guns, no one is superfluous and everybody gets there moment to shine.
Tie me with Wonder Woman’s lasso, because truly, this film does the biggest heroes of the DC universe… Justice.
(Also, J.K. Simmons is Commissioner Gordon, which makes me want to see him run the GCPD like it was the Daily Bugle. ‘’ Montoya! I want pictures of Batman! What are you waiting for!? Chinese New Year!?’’.
By Daniel Murphy